How to Give a Piggyback

Sometimes those little legs get tired and a small child needs a lift from a parent or other adult. Sometimes a child just wants to engage in a little active play with a grownup. Whether it's to relieve your tired child or simply for fun and games, when giving a piggy back ride, follow precautions to ensure your child rides safely. Very young children aren’t capable of holding on tightly, so do not attempt a piggyback ride until your child is at least 2 to 3 years old, says Babycenter.

Position yourself on a soft surface while you load your child for the piggyback ride. A carpeted floor or an outdoor grassy or mulched surface would be ideal. Avoid cement or hard flooring in case any mishaps occur.

Kneel onto the floor or ground so your child can reach your neck 2. Alternatively, your youngster could also stand on a couch or a platform while you crouch down to enable him to reach your neck. Have your child stand behind you, reach his hands around your neck and clasp his hands together tightly.

Reach your hands behind your back and support your little one’s backside, which probably sits at or just above your waistline. You could also clasp your arms together just under your child to support her weight.

Stand up with your child in the piggyback position and ask your child how he feels on your back. Note whether your child feels secure or uncomfortable in this carrying position. If he feels uncomfortable or afraid, kneel immediately and allow him to get down. If you feel like your youngster won’t keep his hands clasped tightly around your neck or if he moves in a way that feels unsafe to you, end the ride right away.

Walk slowly with your child in the piggyback position to allow you both to acclimate to the ride. Check your hold on your child as well as your child’s hold around your neck to ensure that all is secure and safe.

End the ride when either you or your child wish. Kneel down so your child can extend her legs down to the floor and then tell her to let go of your neck. Release your hold of your child once she’s standing on the floor. Alternatively, you could crouch beside the couch or platform to allow your child to disembark from your back.


If the height of the piggyback ride concerns you, practice the ride with your child while walking on your knees or even on hands and knees until your little one gains proficiency holding on tightly.


Never bounce or run while giving a piggyback ride because this could result in a dangerous fall. Anytime you have concern about your child’s security on your back, end the ride.