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Depends on how closely spaced you want the stitches. The larger the needles, the more loosely spaced the stitches are. The smaller the needles, the tighter the stitches. Typically for babies, I *think* you'd use smaller sizes... maybe 6 or 7. The blanket I posted pics of in your other post... I used a size 7. But it also depends on the yarn you use. The yarn label actually tells you the size needle to use if you are free-handing. If you are using a pattern, the pattern takes precedent OVER the yarn label.
I learned at my local library... they had free knitting classes. If you want to learn I HIGHLY recommend Youtube. I can also go back to my documentation that I got from the library & give you some GREAT sites to check out if you want.
I learned on youtube too. I've never tried using a loom, but a friend of mine uses a loom for all her knitting projects. If it's a pattern, you probably want to pick a yarn that will give you the same gauge that is listed in the pattern (# of stitches per inch).