It's hard to do. I loved that binky so much. It did make my life easier. I nursed my boys (twins) until they were 14 months. Our routine was I woke them up, fed them, then played with them and put them down until they were around three months. After that when they woke up from naps I would feed them then play with them until the next nap time (not the entire time...they had their play time on their own once they got older). They never had to have a feeding before they went to sleep. But that was because I had two babies and it made my life easier. I agree that you have to do whatever it takes to make it easier for you.
The binky's - I did take them away at 18 mos. Mainly because I saw that they were becoming more of a habit and a crutch. I was assured by my pediatrician that they were finished with their need to "suck" and so I put them away. Nap times and bed times were hard for about 3 days. I did a lot of rubbing little backs and singing. Then it was easy. They were fine. I took them away before it got to the point where it was an all out fight. I will say their personalities were much different though. They were very easy going babies (blessing).
My third child it was all a new ball game. He was not laid back. He weaned himself off the breast at 9 mos. Was throwing his bottle pointing to a sippy cup at 11 mos. and done with binky by 12 mos. He potty trained himself before he was two and though I didn't struggle with the issues that I did with the twins...he wasn't my baby as long. He wanted to be like his brothers. It made me sad in some ways.
You just have to do what you have to to make it through. It turned out well for us. They have never had sleep issues. I do not think that has as much to do with what I did as much as how they are - we all need our sleep. So we all sleep pretty good. It's genetic I think. But I did put good habits into place - we had routines that gave them silent cues when it was bedtime...bath, teethbrusing, reading...getting in the bed and prayers when the lights were out...it was just routine and they fell right into it easily. Bedtime is actually fun for us. They seem to enjoy all the sameness about it.
Oh I miss my babies Bella Dea...I loved that time in our lives.