HAVING to change her baby son’s nappy on the floor of a restaurant toilet was the inspiration behind a new initiative launched by an Essex mum.

Baby Eats Out aims to make it easier for families to eat out with little ones, through window stickers at cafés, restaurants and pubs across the county and an online directory.

Dozens of eateries, including the Lexden Crown in Colchester, and Le Talbooth in Dedham, have joined the scheme since it launched and founder Katy Pearson, 35, believes the service will be invaluable now lockdown restrictions are starting to ease.

The mum-of-one said: “It can be really tough when you have a baby to know if a restaurant is family friendly or not.

“I can’t count the number of times I struggled to navigate my way into a café with my son in his buggy, only to sit down and realise that there was no baby changing or high chairs.

“I’m a pretty confident person but I still felt anxious about eating out with my little boy Sonny Jim - now four.

“The Baby Eats Out stickers on the door mean you can clearly see what baby-friendly services a restaurant has - before you go inside.

“I realised there was a need for this when I found myself changing my son’s nappy on the floor of the ladies’ loo. This happened on more than one occasion and it was far from fun.”

Families can also log on to www.babyeatsout.co.uk and search the directory to see if a café or restaurant is family friendly.

Katy, who is editor of our sister publication Essex Living magazine, explained: “The website and Instagram page only went live a couple of weeks ago and already we have dozens of Essex cafés and restaurants and pubs listed on there from the Lexden Crown, in Colchester, and Le Talbooth, in Dedham, to Henry Burgers, in Leigh, and Rustic’s Restaurant, in Chelmsford.

“We’re adding more every day and any restaurants or cafés or pubs wanting join the directory and get a free window sticker simply need to message me via the website or our Instagram page.”

And Katy believes the service is needed now more than ever.

She said: “Now restaurants and cafés and pubs are beginning to open up again after lockdown, thanks to the easing of restrictions on Saturday, there is really going to be a need for this.

“There will be a lot of new mums and dads who are sure to be feeling especially anxious about taking their babies out for the first time.

“Hopefully Baby Eats Out will help ease that anxiety.”

Find out more at www.babyeatsout.co.uk or on Instagram @_babyeatsout.