Crib bumpers were designed for older cribs in which the slats were far enough apart that an infant could get its head stuck between the slats. Their basic design is that of a soft padded cloth that runs the perimeter of the crib in order to keep the head free and soften the blow should a child bump into the sides.
Nowadays in the USA and Canada, crib design standards ensure that an infants head will never be able to fit through the slats in a crib. Because of this and concerns that crib bumpers may help induce sudden infant death syndrome, they have fallen out of favor in some parental organizations. Although supporters still maintain that they could prevent an arm or leg from getting caught between one of the slats or to keep an infant from bumping its head.
Whatever your opinion on crib bumpers, they remain an attractive and popular item even today. They often are part of crib sets and offer the child a variety of colors and textures to experiment with. Be sure to do your research before investing in one and make sure you feel confident that they don’t contribute to SIDs. Just know that they probably are not the best for infants too young to move by themselves.