In paediatric radiography, according to the as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) principle, the imaging task should be performed with the lowest possible radiation dose. This paper describes a Monte-Carlo simulation framework for dose optimisation of imaging parameters in digital paediatric radiography. Patient models with high spatial resolution and organ segmentation enable the simultaneous evaluation of image quality and patient dose on the same simulated radiographic examination. The accuracy of the image simulation is analysed by comparing simulated and acquired images of technical phantoms. As a first application example, the framework is applied to optimise tube voltage and pre-filtration in newborn chest radiography. At equal patient dose, the highest CNR is obtained with low-kV settings in combination with copper filtration.