Free Movement means allowing children time and space to move and develop at a natural pace. Pikler believes that infants must experience all movement for themselves, in their own space and in their own time.
Propping an infant to sit, for example, is not allowing them free movement, nor is restricting the child’s movement by placing them in a jolly jumper, walker trainer or similar movement restricting device. Infants are laid on their backs and not propped to sit or pulled to stand so they can learn to roll, crawl, sit and stand unaided. Infants then do not become frustrated by being placed in an unnatural position that they cannot get themselves out of.
Pikler found that children who can move naturally through the developmental milestones (from supine to prone; crawling to sitting; standing to walking to climbing) were not only more able physically but also more able intellectually, socially and emotionally. What Pikler found through systematic observation was that freedom of movement promotes the focus and motivation needed for self-education and gives the infant a lasting view of themselves as a competent learner.