Yesterday a momentous thing happened; my son went swimming for the first time ever! My great friend and I decided that it was just too hot outside and the only solution to the heat and humidity was to go swimming…in New Jersey.

So we took a trip to the Palisades Park Swimming Pool. Located in Palisades Park, New Jersey just an hour away from downtown Brooklyn and 30-40 minutes from Manhattan, the pool costs only $10 for an entire day of swimming. If you go during the week it is sufficiently less crowded then the weekend. They do not have a website, but for more information about the Palisades Park Pool, call (201) 585-4140‎.

The pool grounds are such a pleasant environment. There are three separate pools, One large one, one small one for children, and one specifically for people swimming laps. In addition to the pools, the grounds have a snack bar, picnic tables, grass to sit on and a small playground containing baby swings, a slide and climbing equipment.

Since my son is only 14 months old, I was nervous about putting him in an enormous pool. I was nervous but my boyfriend was a wreck. My boyfriend was getting ready to go to work and he asked:

“So what are you guys up to today?”
“Going swimming.” I said
“What?! Where?”
“New Jersey!” I said confidiently “In a swimming pool.”
“Make sure you never ever leave him unattended? Does he have floaties?! Don’t leave him alone, okay babe?! Okay?! Are you listening?!” He went on and on.

Well, I was nervous before I spoke to my boyfriend, now I was really nervous! However, there was one thing that did make me feel better; my wonderful friend who introduced my to the Palisades Park Pool happens to be a lifeguard, so this made me feel a little more at ease.

We arrived at the pool and I asked my friend for her expert advice as to how to introduce my son to the water.

“At this age its about getting him comfortable with the water.” She said calmly. “He can’t really do much by himself. You have to hold on to him and guide him around the pool.”

So that is what I did. I got into the freezing cold pool first, got myself adjusted to the water and then my friend handed me my son. She jumped in and we we were ready to enjoy the water.

At first my son was skeptical. I was holding him on my hip and I could feel his legs tighten around my waist. He was afraid. Can you blame him? A large pool of clear blue water must be intimidating to a 22 lb munchkin.

But after a minute or so, he was loving the water! He was smiling, splashing water in my face and laughing at the result. He absolutely loved the water. We guided him around the pool and he was pointing and smiling at the swimmers and making cute babbling noises along the way.

I think 14 months is a great age to get your child used to water. Because as they grow older they will not be timid about learning to swim. So don’t be shy! Take your baby to a pool and teach them to love the water.