Elizabeth the separation to me is about the timing, the kids demeanor and how you approach it. For us DD is very stubborn and does things when she is ready. Bottle we tried for like two weeks to get her to a soppy with no luck then one day she pointed to it and that was that bottle was gone. If it was up to me I would NEVER have a pacifier because not something my fam believes in however DH did and so we compromised on it. After about 2-3 months the pacifier only is used for sleep... My DD never used it outside of the crib and her daycare was strong on this too which I believe helped. We took it away at about 2 yrs I think maybe earlier and we dealt with one rough night to bed... We also thre them all away immediately because DH and I knew she would fuss and we would give in. I know friends that can't break it after months but the child is just controlling the situation there which is tough to break later
nak-With DD1 I waited a month to try the paci since I was bfreastfeeding and she didnt like it-she wanted only boob. I dont know if she would have liked it if we had tried sooner or not. It was kind of a pain when she was little and wanted tp pacify on me all night but it was nice not to have to wean her off it later. I dont think I will use a pacy w/ dd2-so far she isnt using me overmuch as a paci so if I can avoid using one I would prefer to so I dont have to deal w/ weaning from it later.
I'm not sure how much nipple confusion there would/could be w/ a paci and breastfeediing but I would think there would be much less of a problem using a paci vs. introducing bottles too early-the paci doesnt have milk so its not like they will get spoiled by a fast/easy milk flow like they might w/ a bottle.
I think one of the dangers w/ the pacifier is their latch - they suck on a paci differently and it might affect their bfing latch. Oh and also, in the beginning when you're trying to establish your milk supply, you want them to suck on YOU as much as possible so giving them a paci means less time encouraging your milk to come in.
That being said, we've always introduced a paci within the first month or so. My others took them and it was especially helpful when I was trying to sleep train them and needed them to go back to sleep when they wake up at night.
But yes, early weaning is key. Eventually they just use pacis at night or in the car. I weaned DS at around 15 months because I didn't want him taking his sister's pacis when she was born. A couple nights of crying and it was done. But I didn't wean DD until after she turned 2 and it was a PAIN. She asked for it a lot and the things I tried (cutting the nipple, replacing it with something else) didn't work so this time I'll definitely be weaning between 15-18 months.