The objectives of this study were (1) to systematically review the literature on the association between birth weight in children born in the first and second generation and (2) to quantify this association by performing a meta-analysis. A systematic review was carried out in six databases (PubMed, Science Direct, Web of Science, Embase, Scopus, CINAHL and LILACS), in January 2021, for studies that recorded the birth weight of parents and children. A meta-analysis using random effects to obtain a pooled effect of the difference in birth weight and the association of low birth weight (LBW) between generations was performed. Furthermore, univariable meta-regression was conducted to assess heterogeneity. Egger’s tests were used to possible publication biases. Of the 9878 identified studies, seventy were read in full and twenty were included in the meta-analysis (ten prospective cohorts and ten retrospective cohorts), fourteen studies for difference in means and eleven studies for the association of LBW between generations (twenty-three estimates). Across all studies, there was no statistically significant mean difference (MD) birth weight between first and second generation (MD 19·26, 95 % CI 28·85, 67·36; P = 0·43). Overall, children of LBW parents were 69 % more likely to have LBW (pooled effect size 1·69, 95 % CI (1·46, 1·95); I
2:85·8 %). No source of heterogeneity was identified among the studies and no publication bias. The average birth weight of parents does not influence the average birth weight of children; however, the proportion of LBW among the parents seems to affect the offspring’s birth weight.