To simply put it, crib bumpers are NOT illegal. There is a lot of hype in the media and knowing before you buy will allow you to be more comfortable. Bumper pads help complete the look of bedding, reduce the draft to keep baby warm, and prevent entrapment of limbs between crib rails. The main purpose of the pads was to prevent limb entrapment. The spacing between crib rails, back in the day, used to be very wide and the bumper pads helped prevent injuries.