Anyone who says that a crocheted newborn hat just isn't as soft as a knitted one knows nothing about crochet. I can say this since I do both and previously felt the same way, which is why I tended to migrate toward knitting. HOWEVER, with a few easy tricks, such as a softer/lighter yarn, larger hook than specified for the yarn, and a very simple yet versatile stitch, you can get all the stretch and softness as a knitted hat WITHOUT all the holes! Case in point: this sweet large preemie/small newborn apple hat. I just love this super simple pattern, and I love even more that I can give something so soft to someone with a newborn.