Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) may predispose metabolic diseases in later life. Changes in fat-free mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM) may explain this metabolic risk. This review studied the effect of IUGR on body composition in early infancy. Five databases and included studies from all countries published from 2000 until August 2021 were searched. Participants were IUGR or small-for-gestational age (SGA) infants, and the primary outcomes were FFM and FM. Eighteen studies met the inclusion criteria, of which seven were included in the meta-analysis of primary outcomes. Overall, intrauterine growth-restricted and SGA infants were lighter and shorter than normal intrauterine growth and appropriate-for-gestational age infants, respectively, from birth to the latest follow up. They had lower FFM [mean difference -429.19 (p = 0.02)] and FM [mean difference -282.9 (p < 0.001)]. The issue of whether lower FFM and FM as reasons for future metabolic risk in IUGR infants is intriguing which could be explored in further research with longer follow-up. This review, the first of its kind can be useful for developing nutrition targeted interventions for IUGR infants in future.