Shiloh Jolie-Pitt still sucks her thumb, and her parents try to bribe her to quit

Angelina Jolie

Shiloh Jolie-Pitt is a thumbsucker. This isn’t the best photo evidence of Shiloh’s thumb-sucking, but I think that’s what she’s doing in the photos where she’s carrying her white silkie. The silkie is covering it, but she’s got that thumb in her mouth. Shiloh’s about to turn 6 years old in May, which is too old to still be sucking your thumb, according to the experts that The Enquirer found. Of course, some of these “experts” are the same people who pull their hair out because a 5-year-old girl isn’t interested in dresses and barrettes. Anyway, The Enquirer’s sources say that Brad and Angelina are totally concerned about this pressing issue!

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are desperate to break their daughter Shiloh of thumb-sucking because it can cause long-term emotional and physical problems. Shiloh turns 6 in May, and experts say she should have outgrown the habit long ago.

“Beyond the age of 4, thumb-sucking should be discouraged because it causes both physical and emotional damage,” warned psychotherapist Gilda Carle.

Another expert says, “Thumb-sucking can alter the shape of the mouth and affect the alignment of teeth. The end result can be difficulty chewing, speech abnormalities and an unattractive smile.”

If thumb-sucking continues after age 5, “you might want to have the child examined for emotional problems or anxiety disorders,” says periodontist Dr. Peter Rubelman.

Shiloh has recently been photographed sucking her thumb in public, and both Brad and Angelina want it to end, said the source.

“They’re offering her big incentives to quit. Brad told Shiloh that he’d take her on a special daddy-daughter weeklong camping trip if she stops.”

[From The Enquirer, print edition]

I’m really only writing about this because I wanted to tell my own thumbsucker story. My mother was concerned when I started sucking my thumb when I was just a baby. So she put socks on my hands so I couldn’t get at my thumbs. So I just sucked on the socks. To this day, she still occasionally refers to me “The Little Sock-sucker”. Whatever – there are tons of practical and efficient remedies for thumbsucking, especially them the thumbsucker is old enough to be bribed (like Shiloh). Promise her all of the little pixie haircuts her heart desires. Promise her a Montenegro-Style shopping spree. Promise her a dirt bike. She’ll stop sucking her thumb in no time.

Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

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78 Responses to “Shiloh Jolie-Pitt still sucks her thumb, and her parents try to bribe her to quit”

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  1. mln76 says:

    I sucked my thumb too my dad used to tease me by offering me salt and pepper for it 🙂
    It took a while but I eventually quit on my own.

  2. lisa says:

    I won’t even admit how long I sucked my thumb. Didn’t do it all the time but I sucked it for ages. And stopped when I wanted to. Lucky my parents didn’t make a big deal of it.

    I have to say I’m so sick of the media’s obsession with Brad and Angie’s kids. You would think they are the only hollywood kids out there. There is at least a dumb story about their parents every week and not they are focusing on the children. I’m sure we will hear from all the “perfect” parents that would never have a child suck their finger. And how terrible Angie is as a mother. Because the JP kids only have ONE parent.

    The fact that this tab printed the story about this child is beyond disgusting. Shiloh is seen in pics not sucking her thumb and sometimes sucking it. Maybe the tabs should focus on children with far worst issues then sucking a thumb or not wearing a dress. These grown ass women should be ashamed. I say women because they are the ones writing this shit and buying the magazines.

    Leave this family alone.

  3. Nanz01 says:

    I always think Shiloh looks like Brad Pitt, but in that picture with The Empress (which is totally adorable by the way), she really looks like Angelina Jolie. Gawd they make cute kids.

  4. Bite me says:

    Whatever, they can get her braces when she’s older

  5. Puckdawg says:

    Just leave the poor kids alone. All this attention is probably what’s causing her anxiety-fueled thumb sucking.

  6. Lotta says:

    I sucked my thumb until I was eleven. Didn’t need braces and I’m no more damaged then the average person. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      I was 12. I have a tongue thrust as a result, but nothing too major.

      • truthSF says:

        I was 12 as well, and I only needed a retainer for a slight overbite, because while I sucked my thumb, I had a bad habit of pushing and pulling on my top row of teeth with my thumb and index finger.

    • MrsBarneyStinson says:

      Lotta, I sucked my thumb till I was eleven years old, too. And I didn’t I need braces either. My teeth are normal and fine. 😀

    • mln76 says:

      Well I did need braces but the orthodontist said it had nothing to do with my thumbsucking and everything to do with a fall I had as a young child which misaligned my jaw.

    • MrsNix says:

      I was a teenager when I stopped. It helped me sleep. My teeth are perfect, actually, and I didn’t have any emotional problems that required therapy. I just liked doing it to go to sleep. This is SO not a big deal.

  7. Katherine says:

    I guess it’s confession time. I sucked my thumb til I was about 9 or so. I was smart enough to realize not to do it in public once I started school but I found it comforting to help me go to sleep.

    My parents tried to get me to stop when I was about 4 or 5 by putting something awful tasting on my thumb. But, of course, having an IQ over 25 I could see what they were doing and just washed it off or waited til it wore off. Did they think I was stupid? I don’t remember if they tried to bribe me but it’s all useless. It serves a healthy function and when someone is ready to stop they will. I wonder if this need to force kids to stop is more about parents’ embarrassment.

    Experts? Please. These “experts” are drama queens. My teeth are perfectly straight without the benefit of braces, my mouth is not malformed and I didn’t have psychological or emotional problems. I just liked to self-soothe. Personally I think it made me a more sensual person.

    • jwoolman says:

      Me, too, until about the same age. Just part of a sleep ritual like having a favorite toy or pillow. Experts are often kind of clueless. It’s now recognized that it doesn’t really cause physical damage – genetics determine the need for braces. Nutrition might be involved to some degree, though. Still debate about that.

  8. Rhea says:

    I thought Jolie supposed to be the evil mom who’s jealous with Shiloh and forced her to dress up like a boy?! So why in this story she’s a very concern mother now with Shiloh? This must be lies! 😉

    • More Lies says:

      I think its lies too. Lies designed to make us believe that her parents are even remotely involved in her upbringing. Please.

      Heres what happened: Nanny 3 as shes handing over the child to a remarkably primmed Jolie for a nice photo op – sorry, “family outing” – mentions that the child is still thumb sucking. Jolie, concerned over spoiled photo ops & limelight theft, decides to take charge of the story. No cute thumb-sucking child stories here! “Great primmed & sparkly hands-on-mother takes troublesome childs habit head on”! Thats your headline. Got it? Now print and roll!

    • LAK says:

      …..wait, Brad isn’t crying in this report. It can’t be true!!;)

      • Rhea says:

        @LAK :LMAO… wait till next week… it would be Brad’s turn on the cover story 🙂

  9. sukienow says:

    they need to leave the kids alone

    why does the media always write negative stories about shiloh and suri????

    they are just kids and dont need this smh

  10. sam says:

    “emotional problems or anxiety disorders”…caused by things like the papparazzi getting up in your face when you are walking down the street with your Mum. Oh wait, they are implying bad parenting… Seriously – every kid is different, and every kid is raised differently. Picking over such issues does nobody any good. You would think ‘experts’ should know that there are times to speak up and times to keep quiet.

    • lisa says:

      Well notice that these tabloid “experts” only say the negative. I guess the paycheck has a stipulation on it. A true professional would not make comments about a child they have never seen or met.

      And yes every story about the JP kids has to be negative. Otherwise it would mean that Angie and Brad are good parents. And that can’t be the case. The none fans would stop buying the magazines otherwise. And who do you think these stories are targeted to. NONE FANS that suck it up.

  11. deb says:

    i stopped thumb sucking and “graduated” to nail-biting (which at first was useful, because my strict school–up to high school–would check nails and everything).

    but then it almost got too far, then i saw one of my colleagues at work who bitten her nails almost until its gone (!) i was really worried, and willed myself to stop. at that point, it’s no longer about comfort but actually “addiction”.

    anyway, adults still do a lot of “comfort” gestures, like nailbiting, bingeeating and stuff. it’s not like shiloh is the only person to do that. but somehow these tabs made it sound that shiloh is the only child to do it (or the JP kids are the only kids that do these things).

  12. Jackie says:

    i sucked my thumb for years and my parents were fine with it. i stopped eventually on my own.

    god, i loved that thumb. it was so soothing.

    • truthSF says:

      Lol @Jackie, my friends and I were convinced we could taste milk when we sucked our fingers. And while the thumb was the favorite, I had some friends who sucked either their index, or their 2 middle fingers.

      P.s. The major downside to thumb/fingers sucking is, your fingers smelling like sh-t after sucking it for so long, especially while sleeping, eww!

    • vaylont says:

      Yes, my dentist scared me into giving up the thumb with tales of giant metal headgear and painful dental surgery but man it felt good, i still miss it. In hindsight it totally wasn’t worth it my teeth turned up all crooked without the thumb.

  13. ConJohn1105 says:

    I hate admitting this, lest my sister stumble across this post, but she was a thumb-sucker until well into her TWENTIES. Only at home, and at night when she was tired or upset. Although it have me something to poke fun at her about, it grew to be more than a bit disturbing. The ONLY thing that stopped her? Getting veneers right before her wedding at age 25, and she wasn’t pleased at all. I had less trouble quitting cigarettes. Apparently thumb-sucking provides a lot of comfort to some people. I wouldn’t have thought that, but she was miserable when she quit. So while six isn’t too terribly old to still be doing it, I’d probably try and put the stops to it pretty quick. Nothing like being 22, stumbling drunk out of a club whilst sucking your thumb.

    • cr says:

      There was a passenger on one of my regular buses, she was probably late teens, maybe earlier 20’s. Still sucked her thumb. She got a lot of stares.

    • rtms says:

      Confession time, I too sucked until early twenties. How and why I quit was quite simple. I would read late at night and fall asleep, and wake up realizing I hadn’t sucked my thumb. I realized I could indeed go without and started to put my hand under my pillow etc and resit the urge. Eventually I stopped all together in a month. Weirdly my dentist has never asked if I sucked my thumb or made me wear braces.

  14. marie says:

    It’s not that big a deal, she’ll eventually quit on her own.. until about 2 or 3 I preferred to suck on my toe, and yes, I still get teased about it.

  15. Scout says:

    LOVE these pics! Especially the one with Shiloh and The Empress! She looks a happy, well adjusted kid – certainly not like a kid with “emotional problems!” She, like a gazillion other kids, is having a hard time breaking the thumb sucking habit. So what? Practically every kid these days gets braces anyway – thumb suckers or not!

  16. Jen34 says:

    The media needs to stop picking on these children. I can only imagine how upsetting stories like these must be for the family. It is nobody’s business.

  17. Kathy says:

    I’m an adult and still suck my thumb, all the time, even in public. I don’t care what others think about it; it’s my thumb. It’s legal, free, nonintrusive, quiet, convenient, instantly relaxing (like folding your legs), without drugs or calories. I really don’t understand what all the fuss is about. My teeth are pushed out but that just makes my habit even more comfortable.

  18. momoftwo says:

    I feel their pain. It’s so hard to get your kid to stop the thumb sucking. My daughter was 5 and I was afraid her palate would become permanently misshapen so we had to be creative.

    She had a bunny that she associated with sleeping the thumb-sucking, so I told her that Bunny went to Paris for 3 weeks (would have scarred her if we just took it, and Paris is so posh. Who wouldn’t want a 2 wk vacation there).

    It worked great. When she got Bunny back, she needed a few reminders, but she had broken the association, and hopefully we have averted thousands in therapy bills by not removing it completely 🙂

  19. foozy says:

    that kid is soooo cute!

  20. Malificent says:

    If a child that age was sucking their thumb constantly that might be cause for concern — emotional or physical. But she’s probably already drifting away from it.

    My son just turned 5. He still sucks his them when he’s tired at night or very upset. He doesn’t have buck teeth and our dentist isn’t worried about it. He knows not to suck his thumb at pre-school because it spreads germs. He is gradually sucking it less and less, so I don’t plan to make a big deal out of it. I have faith that he’s not going to be sucking his thumb at his high school graduation or his first job interview!

  21. heidiho says:

    Lose the binkie loose the thumb sucking. I shamelessly sucked my thumb until grade 5, we moved and my blankie was lost thus I quit! Amazingly I have super straight teeth sans braces. I’m sure the Pitts can get braces for their lil girl when needed!

  22. Swcs says:

    I love angelina and her brood but if had this been Suri…the sheer number of qualified adult psychoanalysts with their two cents would have overwhelmed the boards…

    • lisa says:

      sorry I don’t agree. There are not that many magazines talking about Suri right now. With the JP kids they get 6 children to focus on not just one. And every time there is a story about any of these children the “perfect parents” come out to attack Angie mostly. So not agreeing on this one.

      I think Suri is cute and will be just fine. Not sure why so many strangers are only concerned about these children. Especially when there are HUNDREDS of other celebs kids seen more often.

      But everyone knows this has nothing to do with the children. It is only another way to attack the parents. or in this case ONE PARENT.

  23. Jenna says:

    I stopped on my 5th birthday because my mom threatened to tell my friends. Lol. Now I can’t even remember which one I sucked on. AND amazingly enough….I drank out of a bottle well past the age a kid should. *hangs head*

  24. Lucky Charm says:

    Talk about grasping at straws! My daughter sucked her thumb until she was about ten. When she started kindergarten, I told her the other kids would tease her if she did it at school. So what did she do? She met & made friends with two other little girls in her class who also sucked their thumbs. At storytime, the three of them sat together on the rug sucking their thumbs. No physical or emotional damage done (well, I take that last one back, she does like to watch the Kartrashian’s, lol!)

  25. Paula says:

    She is so damn cute! Adorable!

  26. Kloops says:

    To me, this is a non-issue. I’m in the camp of letting kids outgrow it on their own bc I believe it serves a beneficial psychological function. Admittedly, it can cause tooth damage on the rare occasion, but often it’s a benign habit that most kids outgrow in time. Nope, I never sucked my thumb but one of my kids did and her teeth are beautiful.

  27. Anon says:

    My SIL confessed she sucked her thumb long after 6 years, the device that her parents had the dentist put on her teeth to defer the thumb-sucking, misshaped her mouth more, imho. Perhaps not making a big deal of it would have worked better.
    Maybe those paps screaming at the JP kids causes the thumb to pop in the mouth, as Zahara has been seen doing it too.
    (Lots of HW stars’ kids seem to have pacifiers or suck thumbs at a later age also.) Does the NE just write about Shiloh? I doubt the NE even knows anything about Jolie-Pitt family.

    • lisa says:

      Funny I have seen Denise Richardson’s girls suck their thumbs as have many other Celeb children

      but don’t recall it being in a tabloid or gossip site. But then their parents aren’t Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.. and if they were not this would never be heard about.

      Shiloh has been sucking her thumb for years, so did Zee and Pax. I guess they outgrew it or don’t do it as much. Just like MILLIONS OF KIDS all over the world.

  28. Pretty Kitty says:

    Shiloh is just an adorable little girl

  29. atticfaerie says:

    What The F#@k???? Let the kid be a kid! At 44, with that many cameras around, I’d probably do it too (if good anti-anxiety drugs were not available.)

  30. the original bellaluna says:

    Sounds like what any other parent would do. I wasn’t a thumb-sucker, but I WAS a nail-biter. My dad tried Tobasco sauce, then hot sauce; nothing worked. Until I got older and wanted long nails. I went to the drugstore and bought that bitter nail polish stuff. That worked.

    (Also, with as much media attention these kids receive, it doesn’t surprise me that she still sucks her thumb. If I had papps in my face all the time, I’d carry some baseballs to throw at them. TRUTH.)

  31. wunder says:

    Well, the more they make an issue out of it, the more Shiloh will play her parents! . . . Shiloh may turn out to be the most talented dramatic actress in that family. I think the kid already knows how to command attention!

  32. Barbara says:

    I too was a thumb lover…it made me feel whole. My mom used the socks, I chewed a hole to get to my beloved thumb. Next came foul tasting stuff, I licked it off. I quit on my own around 7. Maybe she suffers from the middle child status as I did. It was real obvious I was not a favorite in my family, but my thumb loved me 🙂

  33. Alexa says:

    Geesh! I sucked my thumb (privately) well into my twenties (not so often, of course, when I got older). It feels good and is calorie, caffeine, alcohol and drug FREE! I also am ALWAYS compimented on my smile and my very straight teeth (never had braces).

  34. Kitten says:

    I knew a girl who sucked her thumb until she was 16 (I wish I was lying). She was normal (for the most part) but she wasn’t emotionally disturbed or anything. Let the kid be herself for effs sake

  35. Kim says:

    I sucked my thumb until age 5. I stopped sucking on it the minute my parents stooped focusing on it and asking me to stop.

    The more they focus on it the more Shiloh will do it. I suggest ignoring it for awhile and see if she stops.

  36. Kimlee says:

    I call BS on this story becuase Z and Pax both used to suck their thumbs and both of them have stop around the age of 5 or 6 years old so I highly doubt they are worried about Shiloh sucking her thumb, she will stop when she ready.

  37. Hootie Hoo says:

    It is self-soothing and not abnormal. I actually sucked on my index finger until I was 6 or 7 years old. Then one day, my older brother and sister put hot sauce on my finger and that was the end of it.

  38. Jill says:

    They should get a “Thumbuddy To Love”…great product that kids love to help stop thumb sucking. Google it or get it on Amazon.

  39. crazycatlady says:

    Well, I hope Ms. Jolie or her peeps read this. Because it’s obvious, from all the comments here, that sucking one’s thumb past the age of 4 or whatever is very common, and thus perfectly normal.

    Like many of you, I too sucked my thumb until I was 9. I don’t recall if my Ps did anything drastic to try to get me to stop (other than perhaps some lame bribes), but I do recall that I just stopped on my own one day. Just like that. I went to bed one night and the need was no longer there.

    It is indeed a self-soothing act that we start doing as babies. Some of us need to do it longer than others. And as adults many of us just transfer that oral fixation to something else (getting Freudian here for a sec) – ciggies, booze, people, food…

  40. crumbcake says:

    My daughter sucked her thumb until she was almost 9 yrs old. We tried everything to get her to stop, and you know what? When she was ready to stop, she stopped on her own. She was embarrassed to go to sleep overs at her friends houses and she told me one day that she was going to quit. And she did.
    Little kids have stress, they may have anxiety problems and they can’t verbalize like adults can–they don’t know how to talk through their issues yet. My daughter found it comforting to suck her thumb when she was stressed out or tired and ready to go to sleep.
    People can be very judgmental about all sort of parental decisions (potty training, weaning a child off the bottle, thumb sucking, etc). . . I remember my sister harping on me about some of those things and guess what? Years later when she had her own children THEY were not potty trained by the age of two and they also sucked their thumbs until they were well into childhood as well. And she apologized for making me feel like an inept parent.

  41. Original Lucy says:

    My son didn’t suck his thumb, but had a blankie he slept with. As he got older, he tried to hide it under the bed, but I would smile everytime I saw it…when he packed for college, I found his blankie ready to go with him (just a rag by this point)…why would I deprive my child of something that comforts him…seems silly…

  42. silvia says:

    Why are you writing about a five-year-old? Have always enjoyed this site because it seems that you have integrity. Feel like little beings who don’t ask to be famous should be left alone.

  43. ViloDeMenus says:

    I agree, lot’s of people suck their thumbs and live to be productive wonderful adults, I find it interesting this would be a lead story in a Tabloid though. I’d be more concerned if my kid was like Suri, unable or unwilling to walk, still working a bottle at nearly 6 and going berserk if her blanket is not with her everywhere. That’s a neurotic kid, Shiloh seems far happier of the two kids.

  44. wunder says:

    It’s not a crime to suck ones thumb! There are a lot worse things someone could do-like crystal meth, drinking coffee, etc.

    I just wouldnt do it during a job interview-unless I was trying to get hired at ‘Thumbsuckers R Us’.

    . . Or do it out on a date-unless, of course, I was going out with Tom Thumb. (And even then, it still wouldnt happen on a FIRST date!. . . what kinda girl do you think I am????)

    • lisa says:


      Everyone has something they do in private that others may think are whatever. Sucking thumb is hardly unusual. I just don’t get why every tabloid story on these children has to be printed.

  45. Jaye says:

    Two of my cousins sucked their thumbs well into their teens and both of them have enviably straight teeth and are fairly well adjusted human beings. The Enquirer is such a BS factory.

  46. KellyinSeattle says:

    Their kids are soooooooo cute! Weird, haven’t heard much about Viv lately; probably next week.

  47. SHump says:

    I wish people would just stop talking about this kid. She is a CHILD. It’s none of our business. If she’s still sucking her thumb, so what? She’d hardly be the first child to do it past toddler hood. And not for nothing, but OF COURSE she’s got anxiety. Strange men with cameras constantly follow her family taking pictures, ffs. I can’t imagine what it must be like to grow up like that.

    • lisa says:

      I know some will disagree, but considering how the media follows Brad/Angie’s every movement, I think they do a really great job of keeping their kids away from it all for the most part. Despite what some claim, we don’t see these children near as much as other celebs. I see Orlando/Miranda’s son Flynn all the time. Even Beyonce is out a lot with Blue Ivy. We see the JP kids a few times a year. More when their parents are working.

      So considering all the crazy around the kids when they go out, they all seem very well adjusted. Never seen them melting down or falling to pieces. And that is with grown ass men/strangers calling their names like they know them. So like them or not; Brad and Angie are doing something very right with their children. They all have a very private life that the public does not see. And that is amazing to me. Considering how hunted they are.

  48. pwal says:

    Me thinks that the author of this story either never saw or read the Peanuts cartoons or merely assume that the rest of the world hasn’t. Because wasn’t Linus eight or nine and he had a blanket too?

    Anyway, it’s refreshing to see the support towards Shiloh and even the personal confessions. Hopefully my acknowledgement will not jinx the goodwill.

  49. ocean says:

    I think the photo & video hounds need to leave the jolie-pitt children alone. Who cares about stupid articles like this. If you are an adult and you choose your career in a very public profile so be it. However, I dont think that children should have to suffer for it. They are just being normal kids, and going thru normal kid issues. How would you feel if you had a camera following your kids around everywhere they went. I certainly would not want that for mine. It makes me sick that you guys even post articles like this.

  50. Jamie says:

    And this is news because…?

  51. crtb says:


  52. Runs with Scissors says:

    “If thumb-sucking continues after age 5, “you might want to have the child examined for emotional problems or anxiety disorders,” says periodontist Dr. Peter Rubelman.”

    Says the freaking periodontist,lol. If he’s a real person, I wonder how much he was paid?

    That’s like having a guy selling you shoes tell you that you have an Electra Complex because you called him “sir.”

    These are kids, leave them the hell alone.

  53. kitty bye says:

    I did too, I cant rem if her parents smoke, but I think mine was also about holding the “ninny” blanky to my nose protecting me from smokey smell pew!

  54. SpunkyPR says:

    Wow, I’m a huge loser, I had my pacifier until I was 5, then graduated to thumb sucking until I turned 12 which is when I got braces. Oh and my thumbs were bad since I used to also bite down on them in my sleep. So according to the National Enquirer experts, I must have anxiety or emotional problems. Who the hell doesn’t!