If you’re after the world’s most luxuriously stylish highchair then this – possibly – is it. The Nomi highchair has more in common with a modern sculpture than a piece of functional baby equipment, but it’s by no means a matter of style over substance – this chair is infinitely practical and, though pricey in terms of initial outlay, adapts to grow with your child until they’re around twelve years old, making it actually rather good value for money.
Now so far, I’ve only tested the Nomi as a newborn highchair, with the cushioned reclined seat that you see in the photos. My intention was to quickly test it in its baby incarnation and then switch to the toddler seat so that I could do a full review, but as I use the newborn version constantly (a testament to how bloody brilliant it is!) I’m loathe to go without. Even for a day.
So I’ll have to do another review of the highchair proper once I get a chance – for the moment I’m just blown away by how useful the newborn part is. Ted sleeps in it happily, when we’re downstairs and having meals, but he will also be quite content just to sit there when he’s awake, and because it’s raised up he can see everything that’s going on.
Last year I reviewed the Babymoov Swoon Up and commended it for the same thing – raising the baby up to “human” level, rather than being stuck down on the ground. It means, also, that you don’t have crazy toddlers tumbling onto your newborn, or inquisitive pets licking their face or whatever it is that they are wont to do. For me, with my live-in circus of animals and toddler, a raised chair like this (or a “cushion on a stick” as one person called it on Instagram!) is actually a necessity.
(If you’re looking for a Babymoov/Nomi comparison, then I’d say – to keep it short – that the Babymoov is great because the seat swivels and bounces and the chair is easy to fold up and transport, making it a good one if you travel. It’s also cheaper than the Nomi. But if you want a cleverly-designed chair that can be used for longer than about 4-6 months, one that adapts as your child grows, then the Nomi would be the appropriate choice.)
The Nomi is also, as I mentioned before, ridiculously stylish. The curved wooden stem is a thing of utter beauty. And the customisation options are endless – I chose a chair to match the wood on my kitchen cupboards, for crying out loud! There are so many fabric and wood options, there really is a combination to suit any interior – you can build a Nomi to your own specification on their website here.
The Nomi chair costs £250 – that’s the whole chair (stem and moulded seat) that will last until the child is about twelve. The newborn part is extra, with the mattress and harness combination coming in at £119.99. So quite a hefty initial outlay, but I suppose that you’re getting two pieces of equipment in one. I’ve just read that the Nomi is designed by the same person behind the Stokke Tripp Trapp, which is something of an icon when it comes to both baby equipment and furniture in general, so it looks as though Evomove, the makers of the Nomi, are going in for the same market. (The Tripp Trapp is cheaper, with the chair coming in at around £170 and a newborn add-on for £75, but the design is quite a lot more basic and – what would the word be? – utilitarian.)
I can’t stress enough how handy it is to have something raised up to table level when you have a newborn – floor bouncer chairs are great if you have no pets, cribs are wonderful if you have the space (and money) for another crib just to have in the kitchen, Moses baskets on stands are fine for as long as your newborn wants to lie down in one, not being able to see anything… For me, being able to plonk a newborn down somewhere safe and comfy while I get on with cooking or toddler-maintenance makes a massive difference to my day.
FYI: I’ve been doing some research into more highchairs suitable for newborns (raised beds, I suppose you could call them!) and I also very much like the look of this one from Phil and Ted – with a one seat-suits-all design, it reclines for a newborn and then positions upright for a baby. I’ll try and test it out and report back – it’s £199 here.