Thanks, Marnie. I guess I just got a bit panicky when I got an infant hat pattern for size 3 needles; I pictured myself working on size "negative 2."
I am practicing on the yarn I intend to use. I am trying to work a bit more towards the tips of my needles and hope that condenses the stitches a bit. I don't overly pull on my work, but maybe I form the stitches too far down. We'll see. I think I will follow your advice and just try to relax about my needing smaller sizes than called for.