Like most other moms, I'd suggest at least 6 weeks. With my first, I kept him home for a full 2 months. With my second, she was home for 6 weeks. With my third, I took her out at nine days (shame on me!!!) to take newborn pictures at the mall, of all places. But I knew the photographer and I knew what kind of pics she was capable of taking in the studio. It was a risk, Daddy was okay with it too (he's a paramedic), but it was in August--off-season for colds/flu/RSV. If it was winter, I definitely would not have done this. She was in her carrier the whole time (until we were ready to actually do the shoot) with a blanket over the carrier. We immediately left when we were done--I went later by myself to see and order pics. Aside from this photo shoot escapade, and a quick trip to Costco for diapers where an elderly lady scowled at me in line when she asked how old my baby was and I told her she was 3 weeks, I kept her home for a month. Thank God she didn't get sick, and I do love to look at the "Anne Geddes-like" pictures in her nursery and scrapbook. The sweet, precious pictures will be cherished always. With each baby, their public debut got progressively sooner. I think 6 weeks is a good time. Just remember that just because your baby shouldn't be in public doesn't mean you can't get out yourself. You can go stir crazy at home! Just be sure to wash and sanitize before holding your darling baby.