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Conception is a difficult one because this is not strictly a medical or scientific term. Some people believe conception to the be moment at which the egg is fertilised by a sperm, while others prefer to think of it as the moment that an early stage embryo implants in the lining of the uterus and becomes attached to its mother.

Stage by Stage 0 - 2
• Babies need loving and consistent relationships to develop a positive sense of self.
• Tuning in to babies' preferences helps them develop a sense of self that is compatible with their innate characteristics. 
• Gentle but firm limits help toddlers feel secure. 
• Two-year-olds' emerging language propels their sense of self. "Me do" becomes their mantra.
Stage by Stage 3 - 4
• Threes and fours have the ability to see themselves as separate and unique individuals.
• The self-images of young children tend to be descriptive, rather than judgmental. 
• Increasingly independent, preschoolers are intrigued by the new things they can do.
Stage by Stage 5 - 6
• Fives and sixes are transitioning from the "me" stage to the "us" stage, becoming aware of the needs and interests of the group.
• Kindergartners are now able to use words to communicate their needs and feelings.
• Five- and six-year-olds use the power of the word no to help define themselves within the group setting.
Tuning in to Babies
Slow down and tune in to babies. Look for the baby's responses to different sounds, sights, and textures. This will help you understand the baby and his way of adapting to his environment. It helps him feel secure and begins his lifelong process of the development of self.
Learning About One Another
Just as you get to know a baby, the baby gets to know you. They are very good at reading facial expressions. At around 2 months, babies offer a "social smile," the first social response to others. Their budding self is affirmed when you smile back. This makes babies feel good - When I smile, you smile with me!
Blossoming Personalities
During his first year of consistent, loving relationships, a baby's behavior becomes more organized, and he communicates more clearly. A 9-month-old might vocalize as he reaches toward you to be picked up, or he might initiate a game of peekaboo. Responding to these requests helps a baby's sense of self blossom.
Exploring Their World
During the second year of life, toddlers form a sense of "I'm me! I can do it!" Their secure sense of self, of being loved in a special way by special people, fuels their self-directed explorations. Young toddlers need lots of opportunities to initiate and direct their own activities.
Becoming Self-Conscious
Another important shift occurs at around 18 months, when the toddler becomes self-conscious for the first time. Twenty-month-old Kayla, for example, manages to unlatch the cupboard door to the diapering supplies. As she reaches into this forbidden territory, she glances over her shoulder, looking for her teacher. She is conscious of her teacher's reactions to her behavior. Toddlers are especially sensitive during this period and can feel shamed if they receive harsh criticism. Encourage toddlers' independence, curiosity, and exploration, while setting reasonable boundaries for their behavior. You can tell Kayla that she can't have the extra diapers, but she can open up another door that holds some stuffed animals or toys.
Emerging Language Skills
Two-year-olds' emerging language skills help them express themselves. Their mantra becomes "Me do! Not you!" Their feelings are strong, and their sense of self is still fragile, so they need to assert themselves and protest limits. Your role is to remain calm and to help them adapt to the demands of daily life. Consistency in limit setting is helpful, but it is also important to remain flexible. Try to build a partnership with each toddler. This way, the limits you set are reassuring, but don't squelch the toddler's sense of self.
Responding to Preferences
Helping babies create a positive sense of self requires a delicate balance between aiding them in developing in ways that are compatible with their innate qualities and helping them function in their social world. Respect for their individuality, their sense of self, helps build the self-confidence they need for the lifelong process of learning.
Becoming Communicators
One of the greatest developing skills a kindergartner has is his ability to communicate. Language in kindergartners has grown beyond basic verbal skills, to include the ability to communicate feelings and needs. This is an important part of self-concept. And this is exactly the time to encourage language. Five- and six-year-olds often need to "talk out" their feelings and problems. Be sure to allow the time and space for these discussions, both in small and large groups.
Defining Themselves Within the Group
Children at this stage want to let you know what they need-even if this includes saying no to something that doesn't suit them. At this time of year, don't be surprised if children say no to participating in some group activities. They are using the power of no to help them define themselves within the group, and to take the time to see where they fit in.
Developing Self-Respect
At the core of all these behaviors is the development of self-respect. While self-concept is about "who I am," self-respect is more about "how I take care of myself." A strong sense of self allows children to be able to speak up if they think something is not fair, if they are being ignored, or even if they don't feel well. The key word is respect. As their self-concepts grow to include self-respect, children learn that what is fair for them also has to be fair for those around them. This is when and how a child learns that he is not a lonely fish in the big pool. He sees that he is actually one of many different fish that work together to create a harmoniously flowing sea of friends.