"Babies who gain weight at the higher percentiles have better neurocognitive outcome, less lung disease, but run the risk of later adverse outcomes such as diabetes and hypertension," he said. "Babies who grow at the lower percentiles run the risk of lower neurocognitive outcome and more lung disease, but less risk for adverse outcomes."
With more and more new parents going online for advice and support, the mommy blogosphere is rife with controversy about big babies.
One mom blogged on the website MomLogic.com about another mother in her play group who put water in her 7-month-old baby's bottle to keep his weight down. Readers were outraged and one wrote, "This mother is setting her child up for developmental delays and eating disorders. That, my friend, is abuse plain and simple."
Mount Sinai's Hammond said no matter how hard parents try to control their baby's weight and shape their eating habits, it will be their own dining behavior that has the most impact later in life.
"You don't want to project a lot of anxiety and stress about eating to your kids, if that's possible," Hammond said.
"But, that being said, how many mothers are stressed and dieting all the time? And their kids get that as a role model of how to eat."