Each time that you take your child for a checkup with the family doctor, it serves as a valuable opportunity to check on your child's progress. While you might occasionally have specific matters that you want to ask about, such as a nagging cough that the child can't seem to shake, you should also consider the bigger picture surrounding your child's health. Whether you're having these appointments every six months or at other intervals, here are some specific things that you can talk about with the family doctor:

The Child's Height And Weight

One of the things that the family doctor will do during the child's appointment is to check the child's weight and measure him or her from head to toe. The doctor will tell you these numbers, but it's important to dig a little deeper and ask how these numbers relate to other children of the same age. Typically, a family doctor will describe a child's height and weight as a percentile — for example, a child's height might be in the 97th percentile. This means that the child is taller than 97 percent of children the same age. Once you hear these numbers, you can ask the doctor if you need to change anything. For example, if the child's weight is low, the doctor may advocate making a dietary change.

Cognitive Development

Even without running tests, your family doctor can generally get a sense of the child's cognitive development. This is something that you should also ask about in order to ensure that your child is on the right track. For example, the doctor may indicate to you that a young child appears sharp — he or she follows the doctor's finger movements with ease and reacts when the doctor touches the child's feet or other parts of his or her body.

Changes To Make

Don't be afraid of asking the doctor what changes you can make for the betterment of your child. This is an open-ended question, and thus one that can provide a lot of value during the appointment. For example, the doctor may note that your child's bottom appears a little redder than ideal, and may this suggest that you use more diaper cream, baby powder, or another method of keeping moisture away from the child's sensitive skin. The more information of this nature that you get, the better you'll be able to care for your child.

Contact a medical office like Family Practice Diagnostic Center for more information and assistance.